Sharks star heads to America
TRANSFER NEWS: The Sharks are about to lose the services of one of their most senior players.
Former captain and regular No.8 Lubabalo Mtembu will be joining New England Free Jacks on a three-year contract.
The Free Jacks, who competed in their first season of Major League Rugby this year, are based in Weymouth, Massachusetts.
Mtembu, 29, has featured in 120-odd first-class games for the Sharks – in Currie Cup, Super Rugby and domestic games – since his debut 2011.
He also played for South Africa Under-20 and SA Sevens.
Mtembu captained the Sharks at various intervals in the past decade.
The Free Jacks punt themselves as an ‘aspiring and innovative’ brand, competing in the emergent and exhilarating Major League Rugby, the premier North American professional rugby competition.
“I am grateful to the Free Jacks for giving me this awesome opportunity to join an exciting program and growing community,” Mtembu said in a statement on the team’s website.
“I am looking forward to the challenge, to learn new things, add value where I can and most importantly, earn my teammates’ and the fans’ trust and respect.”
✍️⚠️ Free Jacks Sign Lubabalo Mtembu, Super Rugby’s Sharks Former Captain
‘Tera’ will join the Free Jacks on a three year contract. Welcome to New England 🐎🔥
— New England Free Jacks (@NEFreeJacks) July 30, 2020
The move to the Free Jacks will be Mtembu’s first professional team change since joining the Sharks out of High School.
“A proven leader and key contributor at Super Rugby level, Tera [Mtembu] will not only be a tremendous asset on the field, but will display what it means to be a Free Jack and role model through his daily routine,” said Tom Kindley, Free Jacks Performance Manager.
“With the ability to play across the back row, jump in the line-out and create havoc off the back of the scrum, Tera is a versatile, top quality player that we are thrilled to welcome to New England. We are thankful to the Sharks for one of their finest sons and are excited to see Tera impart his knowledge and leadership to players and staff within the organization and Junior Jacks academy development squads.”
— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) July 29, 2020